Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Diary Entry 69: Saigon, Monday Night, 27 September 1965
SaigonMonday Night, 27 September 1965
Tonight I feel a little sad. [Colonel] Jim Simmons who was Director of the Department of Larger Unit Operations at Leavenworth when I was there, is here in Vietnam and has been the commanding officer of the 2d Brigade of the 1st Infantry Division. I have mentioned him in several previous entries. Today he was relieved of his command for unsatisfactory performance and lack of leadership by General [John] Throckmorton [Deputy Commander, MACV]. I saw and talked with Colonel Simmons this afternoon right after he was relieved; reckon he wanted a friend to talk to. Never saw a man so hurt. Deep down inside he is a dead man now, because he has been judged a failure at a job he has trained himself to do all the time he’s been in the military service---to command. I sure did feel sorry for him. All the time I’ve known him to be a thoroughly outstanding officer. But I reckon the general just did not like him. So tonight I’ve been kinda thinking about how hurt he must be.
Finished up work this afternoon (Ha!) at 7:30 p.m. and did not feel like going to eat at one of the BOQs. So I fixed some peanut butter and jelly crackers and some pineapple juice in the room for supper. Tasted all right, but want to buy a grill and a hot plate to fix better suppers. Cheese and crackers get old after a while! Will get a good breakfast at the Rex tomorrow morning.
So far I have met only one other officer on the same floor as I’m on. His name is Lieutenant Colonel [Joseph] Fant and he is an advisor with the Capital Military Region (i.e., around Saigon). Seems to be a nice fellow.